than diamonds on my neck"
When The Husband asked me what I wanted to do this year for Valentines day...dinner out? Anyplace special? I told him heck no, I'd rather not stand around and wait for a table at a crowded restaurant, get rushed through a meal where the wait staff is harried and the kitchen staff is stressed. I was planning to make a nice meal here at home. He then asked me if there was something special I would like as a valentines gift. I know you're probably thinking that is soooo unromantic, that's fine...but this poor guy hates to shop. He will happily go with me to the grocery store, Costco, lumberyards, garden centers...all of the necessary places. I don't need for him to go to a jewelry store or Victoria's Secret...uncomfortably wandering around trying to figure out what would tickle my fancy. I'm over that. I'm not going to measure the value of our relationship by how much he spends on me and whether or not it was a "surprise". I don't buy into what the ad geeks from Madison Avenue try to do, it's their job to make people feel like their relationships are doomed because their partner doesn't surprise them with an eternity ring, or a right hand ring, or one of those yesterday-today-tomorrow thingies....what-everrrrr.
There was a time when those ads sucked me in, when I thought jewelry was something I just had to have...that was then...this is now.
I told him not to buy me flowers either, he laughed and said "do you want roses? again? how about those roses you wanted last year and never picked out?" That was my valentines gift last year, rose bushes..or bare root roses to be precise. Time flies, I never picked out those roses last year. Cut to this year, annndd... Ta Daaaa. I got 'em! I've been doing my homework, using my reference books. I wanted to make sure that I chose plants that were going to perform. No willy nilly garden center wandering, taking what they decided they wanted to offer me this year, or worse yet....what their supplier was overloaded on. This happens folks, my last job was as a sales rep for a wholesale plant nursery. I didn't sell roses but a pint's a pound the world around.
I got out my American Rose Society rating and went to work. I decided that I wasn't going to buy roses that were rated below an 8.0, no roses on sale, no off brand roses from the discount box store, no "ohhh...I love the color" roses, huh uh. Been there done that, cheapo roses are weak and sickly, prone to disease and quite often not hardy. I don't want to spend precious time tending sickly plants that need to be sprayed over and over. Yes, roses require maintenance...but why not start with a healthy proven plant that has been evaluated in field trials. Give me roses that are disease resistant and cold hardy, roses that will last for years.
Today I went to one garden center and bought ten rose plants...tea roses, floribundas and grandifloras. They had several tables of roses, but only ten varieties ranked over an 8.0. Anything over an 8 is an "excellent", 7.0-7.9 is a "good"..they had lots of "goods"... but I'm all grown up now and I want to start out excellent, if I need some "goods" to fill in the blanks...oh wait...no.....go excellent or go home.
An excellent line-up.
Now comes the hard work, where are these darlings going to live? The "rose garden" right now is pathetic, it's more of a holding tank. Two years ago we moved most of the roses from the mixed border to an area that would be for roses only, with easy access for picking rose bouquets. Stomping through perennials to gather a bouquet of roses had lost it's charm. The area that we moved them to is exposed, too windy...and right near the organic raised beds. Sometimes roses need to be sprayed and I don't want rose spray drifting over to the lettuce and peas...yuuukkkk! Last year was a tough one for our existing roses, the soil is great but they're not thriving like they should be, even with a drip line.
It's crunch time, now that I took the leap and bought the roses...these girls are going to need a permanent home. There is room in the holding tank but I think it's time to get serious about making a plan and following it through. I've been thinking about this for a couple of years...it's time to take some action.
Oh my...the pressure is on!